Sharks players leave social media as abuse bites

Cronulla prop Aaron Woods deleted twitter because it was a “pain in the arse” and he says death threats aimed at athletes or officials is a “shit go” as his Sharks teammates warn that players will leave social media if the abuse continues.

The mental health of professional sportspeople and personnel is again at the forefront following a raft abusive messages from fans.

Melbourne fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen revealed death threats from disgruntled players has become common.

GWS midfielder Callan Ward also received death threats on the weekend while Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold has been subjected to vile online rumours, prompting him to involve the police.

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Woods says the abuse directed at athletes for gambling reasons is out of line, declaring that players won’t put a person’s bet before their performance.

“Man, if people are punting on games, we couldn’t care less,” Woods said.

“We are going out there to play footy whether we win by one to 12 or 13 plus, we don’t give a rats arse.

“We want to win by one and get the two points. We couldn’t care what people’s multis look like.

“As for death threats – that is a shit go.”

Woods revealed that halfback Chad Townsend has been helping Sharks players deal with social media‘s pitfalls.

“Chad has shown us a few pointers with things that you can do,” he said.

“Like with the Instagram and words you can get rid of.”

Woods hasn’t been on Twitter for some time due to the abusive and rude comments, but he also believes players who post on social media need to take on some responsibility.

“At the end of the day, the more you put up, the more you want to read,” he said.

“You just have to be able to handle it.

“If you are going to put it up, stupid, bad, or good, then there are always going to be people that look for a negative in anything.

“It comes down to you if you want to read it.”

Sharks back-rower Scott Sorensen believes NRL players and athletes in general will get off social media forever if fans keep clogging their profiles with inappropriate comments.

“If you are getting comments and messages that make you uncomfortable or you are not happy with, I’m sure players will go into a bit of a shell and start to ignore it and be a bit more private,” Sorensen said.

“Everyone will start to shy away.”

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